Thursday 01st September 2005

Northwood: We've let the club down

Monday 28th
November 2005
FA Trophy
Third Qualifying Round Replay
Stephen McCartney reports from Kingsmeadow
Kingstonian 3 Bashiru Alimi 46
Jon Coke 47
Martyn Lee 74
Cray Wanderers 1 Leigh Bremner 18

Cray Wanderers' goalkeeper Steve Northwood admitted his team-mates have let the club down as they capitulated to a sorry defeat during a second half horror show at Kingsmeadow tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.

Despite taking the lead in the 18th minute courtesy of Leigh Bremner's sixth goal of the season, they leaked two goals in the opening 102 seconds of the second half before former Wycombe Wanderers' star Martyn Lee - scorer of the K's goal in their 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane on Saturday - added to their misery.

And whilst Kingstonian - twice winners of the FA Trophy - look forward to a lucrative trip to Nationwide Conference outfit Canvey Island in the first round proper on 17 December, Cray Wanderers endure a trip to Banstead Athletic in the Ryman League Division One instead.

But after an uneventful opening, the Kent side opened the scoring after good play down the left channel from Michael Power.

The 13-goal striker skipped past K's skipper Julian Sills but his run was ended by Mazin Ahmad, winning the ball inside the box.  But he found Dean Morris on the left who centered for Bremner, and his right footed shot from ten yards out went in off the base of the far post.

Then a fierce 30-yard drive from Power was tipped away by former Tooting & Mitcham goalkeeper Mark Torcaso.

Kingstonian, however, took 22 minutes to carve their first chance of the game when talented seven-goal striker Kenny Ojukwa found the unmarked Ahmad, who made a run from the half-way line, but his shot was pushed around the near post by Northwood.

The former Thamesmead Town stopper was called into action five minutes before the break when he parried Alimi's long range effort.

The way the visitors were playing stunned the home faithful to silence, but they were soon shouting thanks to a devastating spell early in the second half.

Kingstonian brought on Scott Corbett at the interval and within 102 seconds found themselves making plans for their trip to Canvey Island.

From their first corner of the second half, Alimi stroked the ball past Northwood who was stunned to be picking the ball out of his net after just 29 seconds.

But the goalkeeper was to blame for allowing Jon Coke's cross-cum-shot from the right hand side find the back of the net soon after.

These were Alimi and Coke's first goals of the season - perfect timing for Ian McDonald's men.

And twelve minutes into the second half a cross from the left from Steve Symes was met by a 16-yard header from former Bromley striker Tony Reid, which was saved by Northwood.

Cray substitute Jamie Wood played in goalscorer Bremner but he dragged this 65th minute chance well wide of the far post.

But Lee showed his class with 16 minutes left, scoring his 5th goal of the season when he left Terry Khan in his wake and his angled drive from the left hand side, inside the box, rolled into the bottom far corner.

Northwood denied rampant Kingstonian late on, making fine saves from Reid and substitute Tommy Cass.

And when Cray skipper Ian Rawlings rose to meet Jamie Wood's corner, which looped over the bar, it proved to be too little too late for inept Cray, who will need to bounce back when they travel to fourth from bottom Newport IOW on Saturday.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with, Northwood said: "First half I don't think we were that worried but we just came out cold in the second half, weren't switched on and it just went down hill from there really.

"In the first few minutes of the second half we just threw it away."

Northwood blamed himself for Kingstonian's second goal after just 102 seconds into the second half.  His shocked team-mates just never recovered from that blow.

He admitted: "Second goal was my mistake at the end of the day.  I've called it and it's bounced off one of our defenders head and just rolled in.

"I've held my hands up for that.  There's not a lot I can do about it now but these things happen".

Northwood revealed the mood in the visitors dressing room.  "Jenko's (Ian Jenkins) not the happiest of people tonight and I don't blame him," he said. 

"The chairman won't be very happy and I can't blame him because we've let him down big time."

Jenkins, however, demands that his side bounces back and return from the Isle of Wight with all three points on Saturday, and Northwood echoes these views.

"The Newport IOW game is massive," the shaven headed goalkeeper said.  "We've got to start getting a bit of form in the league.

"We've been very patchy since the first five games.  We've lost more games already than we did for the entire last season.

"We've got the players, team spirit, we just have to put it all together.  When we do we are one of the best footballing sides in the league."

Disgusted manager Ian Jenkins and his assistant Joe Francis declined to comment.

Kingstonian:  Mark Torcaso, Jon Coke, Richard Taylor, Wayne Noad (Scott Corbett 45), Julian Sills (Capt), Mazin Ahmad (Paul Weatherall 90), Steve Symes, Bashiru Alimi, Tony Reid, Kenny Ojukwa, Martyn Lee.  Subs: Ryan Adams, Paul Brady

Cray Wanderers: Steve Northwood, Terry Khan, Ian Rawlings (Capt), Dean Morris, Danny Bower (Jon Main 76), Drew Watkins (Jamie Wood 63), Ross Lover, Jamie Kempster, Gary Abbott (David Gray 85), Leigh Bremner, Michael Power.  Subs: James Taylor, David Hall

Attendance:  264
Referee:  Mr John Farries
Assistants:  Mr Carl Berry & Mr Nigel Lugg